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They Didn't Like It…

I agree - those would be lost but for me that’s a price worth paying to avoid people leaving comments on wine they haven’t tasted (either at a tasting, from a friend or another supplier).
Would also avoid the subsequent debate in the example above, which all detracts from whether the wine is actually any good.

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While in theory I 100% agree, The Wine Society is pretty much the only place I actually use my title. I giggle slightly every time I get an email or receive a parcel for “Doctor Owen”, or even see it in the top right hand corner of the website.

I agree with @SPmember that you shouldn’t need to have bought the wine, but there does need to be some kind of vetting/requirement for it to be a review rather than complaining about something else. If this person had actually tried the wine and said “this is rubbish in comparison to the amazing value of the Peyabon” then sure, but “I’ve not tried this wine and think this one is better” really isn’t that helpful (even if people do agree with the statement).


I don’t really have a problem with “reviews” that make it clear they haven’t tasted the wine in question. It seems a weird thing to do, but in my view anyone using average rating without reading the reviews is slightly nuts. In this case, if I was considering buying the wine, I would discount the view of this particular wine but might be glad to consider the alternative suggestion.

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It’s a slightly different issue to the “costume drama” effect I mentioned earlier, but I do find it odd that they use “Doctor” as a title spelled out in full, rather than “Dr”. It used to be at the top of every email too. I’d never really thought about it before I joined TWS, but I don’t think I’ve seen it elsewhere.

Do they do the same with “Missus”? And perhaps “Mistress” for “Ms”?

I presume they always favour “Esquire” to “Mister” or “Mr” .

My wife once hired a car in Marseilles and completing the booking online and finding no option for Ms she selected “Lady”; all communications from that hire company now show her unusual deference.


Are you an “academic” “doc” or a real McCoy “doc”? I ask as I’m an academic one, while my ma & pa were “real” ones [GPs]. Though I know plenty who do, I myself don’t feel remotely comfortable using my title outside of a very few work contexts! Feels like forgery really. Not sure if that’s because of my folks or despite, but it’s certainly how I feel.

I do still feel secretly flattered though that on a flight to Singapore for a conference a few years ago, booked by my Uni at the time [with my title used in the booking for some reason], I was taken aside while boarding and on confirming my name, asked politely if I would mind being summoned during the flight if there were any medical emergencies etc! I assumed they were having a joke, but no, they were genuine. I thought that conversation only happened in [very silly] films, I must say. But apparently not.


In Germany and Italy they have no qualms at all about using their titles, but in the UK most would only use this title in the relevant sphere of activity. Recently there was a senior executive in the Lloyd’s insurance market who was always titled ‘Dr’ even though his doctorate was in physical chemistry. Always sounded wrong to me.


Reminds me of this joke:

Once, the sto­ry goes, there was a man who made his way to the Unit­ed States. Start­ing from noth­ing, he worked his way up the food chain to become a titan of indus­try. He brought all his rel­a­tives, includ­ing his aged moth­er, over from the old coun­try and set them up in style, in mag­nif­i­cent apart­ments. He joined the finest of all coun­try clubs, even those that had, hereto­fore, been restrict­ed; and he pur­chased him­self a two hun­dred-foot yacht. He dressed only in white, and insist­ed that every­one refer to him as the Cap­tain. One morn­ing, he was about to take the boat out, and asked his moth­er if she would like to join him out on the water, remind­ing her that, if she came along, she would have to refer to him by his pre­ferred sobriquet.

She looked at him. ​“Ben­ny,” she said. ​“By you, you’re a cap­tain. By me, you’re a cap­tain. But let me tell you some­thing. By a cap­tain you’re no captain.”


I have no issue with people using titles but i could not post a review of a wine I had not drunk.
Rather flatteringly some members have asked me about specific Burgundies. If I haven’t tried them, I will research the grower, vineyard , and try and find out details about viticultural practices, vinification and maturation, soils etc. Then I will try and piece together an answer based on that research, however I will specify that I have not tried the specific wine. If I have tried other wines in that growers portfolio then I will mention that point and give a note on the style. That I hope will be of some assistance but no substitute for a first hand experience.


I don’t use my title except when my job was relevant (or in the case of my last job - which had little do with my field - where my boss felt that dealing with our government regulator (Ofqual) it would be helpful). Not sure if I’d feel any more a fraud using it than a medic using it outside a medical context.

Ps I’ve had the same experience as you on a flight.


My sister (a “real” doctor) and I (a “proper” doctor) tend to put it that way round. I’ve got a PhD where as she’s a consultant geriatrician. Us natural philosophers were doctors while they were still barbers and village wise women.

Since I’m no longer in academia, I only use it when applying for jobs or other occasional situations where I need credibility quickly, but I have one credit card and TWS where it’s still used. I’ve been offered upgrades on flights for that reason, but always turned them down, as my sister once did actually have to come and assist someone on a flight (and now gets upgraded on pretty much every flight she goes on within whichever alliance it was that she was flying with at that time).


This is an absolute WS staple but has had three terrible reviews in quick succession - all remarkably consistent. Interesting to know if anyone here has had it as I have a case on back order that I may cancel. 2018 Alsace Riesling is so low acid it tastes like PG - sounds like 2019 went the other way.

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This is surely easily dealt with by cross checking the database and producing a note, such as Amazon does, stating “verified purchase.”


I can understand that some people might dislike this wine - it is a very dry style - but “bitter” is a very odd discriptor.

I wonder if 2, or maybe all 3, reviews resulted from the same tasting event, and thus are not totally independent of each other. In any case, the 2nd reviewer had at least read the 1st


Hmmm maybe… in lockdown though?

There is no professional note I can find for this wine. However the reserve from the same vintage has a 16++ from Jancis indicating a very dense, quite unapproachable wine that needs some time. Maybe the standard cuvee is similar.

The lastest one mentions a zoom tasting.

OTOH a later comment in that review suggests he was not in contact with the other reviewers, which rather spoils my theory :frowning:


Latest review, criticise a wine, even a winemaking style but a whole continent? I’ve enjoyed this wine before, always think it’s good value for money


I particularly like the use of the phrase “proper Claret” (capitalisation in the original). It does bring a certain image to mind.

And I actually think that this wine meets the criteria of “proper Claret”. It isn’t a new world sweet fruit bomb.


It’s great stuff every vintage, might open my 2017 this weekend.

In fact, I might start calling it Luncheon Claret.


“All claret tastes like X.”

“All wine from Australia tastes like Y.”

Not exactly signs of a sparkling intellect, frankly…